MotoGP Brno: Lowes chases Roberts for Moto2 pole

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Britain’s Sam Lowes will take his third front-row start in as many Moto2 races after grabbing second in today’s qualifying session at the Brno MotoGP round.

Lowes trailed American Joe Roberts, who bagged his second-ever series pole, by just over a tenth of a second with Enea Bastianini in third place.

Roberts set his 2’01.692 fastest lap on his third flying lap in Q2 to displace Bastianini from provisional pole, with almost the entire Q2 grid setting their best times on their first two flying laps.

Lowes and teammate Augusto Fernandez took their time to get their first laps of qualifying in, but when they did, Lowes went straight to P2 behind Roberts – Fernandez, leading Lowes on the road, went P8.

The gap between the top two sat at just over a tenth but with track conditions not getting any better, the riders – including Lowes – were struggling to find any personal best times. And sure enough, no one was able to trouble the pole time which meant Roberts will start the Moto2 Czech GP from pole, his second of the season.

Lowes has been superior all weekend and will launch from his third consecutive front two in the intermediate class, something he hasn’t done since 2016. The leading trio were in a bit of a league of their own in qualifying with Spanish GP winner Bastianini 0.189 off in P3, he has his eyes firmly set on a second consecutive race win.

Fourth place went the way of Hafizh Syahrin (Openbank Aspar Team) who will launch from his best grid slot of 2020. His previous best was at the Spanish GP in P15 so the Malaysian will be hoping he can mix it in the podium scrap, and he’ll be aiming to hold off Andalucia GP podium finisher Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) on Row 2.

Both Bezzecchi and teammate Luca Marini were frustrated figures in Q2 as a handful of riders seemed to dawdle looking for tows, but the Italian’s first flying lap was enough to earn him P5 for Sunday’s race. Jorge Martin was the sole Red Bull KTM Ajo rider in Q2 after Championship leader Tetsuta Nagashima failed to make it through Q1, and the Spaniard will be starting P6 as he aims to close the gap to his teammate in the title scrap.

Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) equals his best Saturday afternoon result of the season with a P7 finish, the German sitting 0.020 ahead of Fernandez with Q1’s fastest man Fabio Di Giannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up) completing Row 9 – his best qualifying of the year.

Rounding out the top 10 is the man lying second in the Championship – Marini. Eight-tenths off Roberts’ time isn’t where the Italian would have wanted to be, and he’s got work on his hands with Bastianini starting on the front row.

Britain’s Jake Dixon ended in 18th, 0.750s off the pace.

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